Why celebrate Black History Month?

Published 12:11 pm Saturday, February 7, 2015

Friday’s edition of The Tidewater News featured a pair of articles that related to Black History Month, and this issue will also contain some mentions. And as the month of February chugs along, more mentions are going to be made as the community celebrates the month.

Along with all of the wonderful contributions that African-Americans have made to this country that will be honored this month, another inevitable scenario will play out: Someone white will wonder why we bother to observe Black History Month at all.

It might happen in the break room at work, or perhaps it might be pointed out on the modern-day version of the water cooler, Facebook. It will likely be followed up with, ‘Why isn’t there a white history month?’

We say that we should celebrate Black History Month because there’s still so much progress that is yet to be made in this country. And there are a lot of children out there to be inspired.

When most of us were in school, the textbooks primarily featured slavery, George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington when it concerned black history.

And there is still ground to be made up, even today. If modern children are listening to nothing but the mainstream media, they might have a picture of nothing but a culture of criminals or professional athletes. Being a professional athlete is all well and good, but what if you want to be a scientist, lawyer or political figure? They are out there, too.

It also shows where we as a society have come from, and where we never want to return.

Why do we celebrate Black History Month? Because it is important. Because it is needed.

For those still yet unconvinced, we encourage you to visit one of the many programs that will take place in the community this month. We think you will discover a plethora of inspiring facts, and if you really pay attention to the community around you, you will also see that Franklin still has a long way to go.